Epiphany 3
January 21, 2001
Luke 4:14-21 
"Redemption & Release"

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Introduction:  Jesus was anointed to do the work of the Father as a servant. It is said that the servant of God would come and be anointed and declare "the acceptable year of the Lord" (v.19) This "acceptable year" was the year of Jubilee, proclaimed every 50 years. It was the year when debts were cancelled and slaves were freed. Jesus sees His life's purpose to redeem and release the people. This program of release was the good news to all that were oppressed, afflicted, and bound. Jesus has come to set us free. How?

1.                 The poor in spirit find freedom in the Gospel - Christ has come to set us free. We find freedom in the message of the Gospel. We are now forgiven and given this precious liberty. Jesus has said: "If you continue in My word You are truly My disciples indeed and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free".  Jesus has come to announce freedom.

2.                 Captives to sin now find release in Christ. Once we were bound in Satan's grasp. Once we were held captive to sin, to the devil, to the weight of strife. Christ broke into time and space to set us free to be the children of God.  The burden and yoke of sin can wear us down. How can this strangle hold of sin be broken? It is broken in the form of a cross. Jesus came to break the rod of sin's oppression but going to the cross carrying our sin on His own shoulders. He suffered on the cross of Calvary so that our sins would once and forever be forgiven. "There is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" the Bible tells us. Christ has released you from sin to be free in Him.

3.                  Those blinded by sin received sight through the light of Christ. Jesus will call those who trust only in themselves blind guides and blind fools. Sin has a tendency to blind us. Sin blinds us to see the true purpose for which we were created. Sin blinds us to see the will of God in our lives. Sin blinds us to know and understand what God wants for us.  But once Christ has come to set us from sin we can clearly see His perfect will for our lives. How do we know God's perfect will?  We find it in His sure and certain word.  When you read God's Word the will of the Father will be made clear to you. Remember those certain words: "Thy Word is a lamb unto my feet and a light unto my path"

4.                 Those oppressed by their own sin, or by the sins of others, find liberty in Christ.  Word sting. Words spoken in anger can cause great hurts and wounds. Time has a way of healing old wounds but not all. We need the healing salve that only Jesus can give. When we are hurt and offended but an uncaring act or a harsh word, Jesus' healing brings restoration. We find the reconciliation that we need in the wounds and stripes of Christ our Savior. "By His stripes you are healed" the prophet tells us.  In Christ we find healing in His wing. In Christ we find the only comfort that will last and bind up the broken hearted.

Conclusion:  "The acceptable year of the Lord" has come to us once again. Liberty, restoration and peace come not every 50 years. It comes day by day, whenever Jesus' words of peace are announced to you.  By your hearing of these marvelous Words of the Savior, announced in your hearing, rise up renewed and refreshed to live as His forgiven people. In Jesus your sins are forgiven, live in His peace! Amen.

+ Soli Deo Gloria+